kalanjiam Community Banking Programme

Kalanjiam Foundation and its Developmental Approach

Kalanjiam Foundation is a subsidiary of DHAN Foundation. It strives for creating significant impact in livelihoods of poor families and in women development through its community banking programme. The approach for development has been defined through two decades of field work and conceptualization.

Building women self-help groups and their federations at the grassroots and enabling them for community ownership and sustainability are key elements of the approach. So far, 40,618 primary groups at village/slum level covering 609,139 families have been promoted in 12 states of India and the groups have been networked into 209 federations.

Livelihood financing founds base for the developmental programmes of Kalanjiam Foundation. The community banking programme has enabled the poor women to generate Rs. 282 crores of own funds through savings products in SHGs and to leverage Rs.841 crores of loan funds from commercial banks for livelihood development.

The approach has been tested and proved in rural (100 federations), urban (29 federations), coastal (35federations) and tribal (45 federations) contexts. In each context, the programme design has been adapted to cater to characteristics of the local environment.

Impact of community banking on ‘poverty mobility’ of member families has been asserted through different evaluations. Member families have been classified based the intensity of poverty. A system to track their mobility from one poverty stage to upper levels and ultimately moving out of poverty has been established.

Sustainability of community organizations is the crux of the approach and it has been demonstrated on a larger scale. Out of 209 federations promoted, 130 are financially independent. The women SHGs have contributed Rs. 20.32 crores out of Rs. 101.8 crores of promotional funds invested by Kalanjiam Foundation for development of communities.

The approach strongly emphasizes on integrated development and microfinance plays a ‘starter’ role in organizing the community. Matured Kalanjiam federations have gone beyond microfinance and have integrated agriculture, dairy, natural resource management, social security, nutritional security for women, safe drinking water, sanitation, primary education, housing, vocational skill building, migration, micro-justice etc., aiming at overall development of poor.

Health interventions including nutritional security of women, safe drinking water and sanitation have been promoted in 91 federations covering 3 lakhs people. A curative health care programme namely SUHAM hospitals backed up by health insurance covers 80,000 familiesfrom 34 federations. The remedial education programme covering 2,500 primary school going children from 20 tribal blocks of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Odisha aims at bridging the gaps in learning. Five federations run primary schools with 2,000 children.

As many as 55 federations are implementing agricultural developmental programmes focusing on household level food security through improved productivity and increased farm income. Interventions such as revival of irrigation tanks, farm ponds, system of rice intensification, seed quality, farm schools, goat rearing,fish rearing, collective purchase of farm inputs etc. have been integrated in the agricultural programme. A value chain intervention on dairy sub-sector is implemented by 10 federations covering 10,000 dairy farmers. The farmers have promoted a dairy producer company and it markets nearly 2,500 liters of milk every day.

All the 209 federations offer life insurance coverage to 5.57 lakhs persons through tie-up with market providers and own mutual insurance programmes. In addition, 82,435 persons have been covered under health insurance. The federations interface with different departments of government to support member families avail entitlements like community certificates, old age pension, MNREGA job cards, and identity cards for differently abled persons etc. Ten federations have started a micro-pension programme for women. Recently, a pilot on micro-justice in five federations has been initiated for supporting the member women and their families on legal aid and awareness.

Kalanjiam Foundation has promoted 25 federations in urban slums of cities namely Hyderabad, Madurai, Mysore, Salem, Tirupati and Vizag. These federations address livelihood issues of migrant families in the slums. In addition to livelihood financing, the urban SHGs and theirfederations focus on housing needs of migrant families and promotion of vocational skills among women and youth. Nearly 15,000 families have been supported for new house construction and upgrading existing houses through linking with housing apex banks and Municipal Corporations. More than 10,000 women and youth have been imparted employable skills through community colleges run by the urban federations. Recently, comprehensive programme on migration has been started to deal with issues at source (villages) and destination (urban areas).

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